High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a condition in which the force of your blood against the walls of your arteries is high enough to cause damage.

Due to high blood pressure, the heart and arteries have to work harder which is not good for the cardiovascular system. What high blood pressure does is over time, high blood pressure causes the arteries to harden and narrow which could lead to a heart attack or stroke.

High blood pressure is a silent killer. What high blood pressure does is slowly destroys the arteries and your cardiovascular system from inside, which includes the heart, your brain, and your kidneys.

High blood pressure is measured by two numbers: systolic and diastolic. The first number is how hard your heart has to work when it squeezes the blood out. The second number is how high your blood pressure gets when the heart rests between beats. Systolic high blood pressure is high when it exceeds 140mm Hg, while diastolic high blood pressure is high when it’s above 90mm Hg.

People who are living a sedentary lifestyle and who do not go out there to find ways to lower high blood pressure will find difficulty in managing high blood pressure.

What causes high blood pressure?

The most common cause of high blood pressure is high sodium intake, or high salt intake, which is commonly found in processed foods. What high salt intake does is raise the volume of water in your blood stream. High sodium foods like canned soups, salt meats, and high sodium gravies should be taken moderately if one wants to manage high blood pressure effectively.

High cholesterol is also one of the causes of high blood pressure because high levels of cholesterol clogs your arteries preventing blood from being able to flow. Foods high in saturated fats can cause high cholesterol and should be taken in moderation. It is also highly-recommended to read food labels and check how much saturated fats the food contains. We must make it a habit to check common grocery items such as mayonnaise and dairy products for saturated fat content. Anything deep fried in oil should not be a regular part of a healthy diet if one is diagnosed with high cholesterol.

Obesity or being overweight is also another reason for high blood pressure.  When the body is too large, blood pressure increases just to flow through. Since high blood pressure alone can reduce life expectancy by as much as 5 years, obesity could also be a cause of high blood pressure.

If you are a coffee lover or consume too much alcohol, then these two should be taken in moderation to keep your blood pressure in check. Other high blood pressure causes include stress, high levels of muscle tension, lack of sleep, and a sedentary lifestyle. We’ll talk about these in detail as we move along.

Lack of exercise or a sedentary lifestyle also contributes to high blood pressure. One should pick a time of a day, three to four times a week, and spend at least 30-45 minutes of cardiovascular workout.  Walking with your dog is an effective cardiovascular workout and I bet 30 minutes is too little a time to spend with such an adorable creature!

Avoiding high cholesterol foods is just one of the many steps one has to take in order to successfully manage high blood pressure. People with high blood pressure needs to find a diet plan that will work for their situation, and should follow it consistently and at the same time cutting out all of the high cholesterol foods that caused your high blood pressure in the first place.

The ideal diet plan to follow is a diet plan that includes eating lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grain products and avoiding processed foods. The diet plan must contain very little salt and absolutely no saturated fats. Drinking lots of water, say 8-9 glasses per day, is good for your body. If you drink a lot, then you can get rid of excess salt in your body.

Another cause for high blood pressure is stress. When one is tense due to stress, the arteries tend to contract, restricting the movement or flow of blood from the heart to the other parts of the body. This is why stress management is important for people with high blood pressure.

Cigarette smokers are 80% more likely to die from high blood pressure than non- smokers. The high amounts of nicotine found in cigarettes constrict the blood vessels, causing high blood pressure.


High blood pressure prescription medication or natural dietary supplements?

Lowering high blood pressure is not difficult at all, but it depends on willpower and consistency. Taking high blood pressure medication is only a band-aid solution to the real problem. Taking high blood pressure medication is no longer a stigma since half of our adult population suffers from high blood pressure and about 50% of high blood pressure cases are not properly managed.

There are also high blood pressure dietary supplements you can take. For high blood pressure prevention, high amounts of potassium should be taken since high levels of potassium will counter the harmful effects high sodium has on your body.

For high blood pressure management, high amounts of magnesium can be taken in supplement form. Magnesium relaxes your arteries and allows blood to flow more easily. Magnesium can be found in high amounts in dark green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, fish, whole grains, and high fiber foods.

The herbs hawthorn and buchu leaf can be taken to improve high blood pressure symptoms as well. Hawthorn contains high amounts of antioxidants and flavonoids that improve high blood pressure signs and symptoms, along with herbs like hibiscus and garlic. Buchu leaf is a rich source of magnesium and potassium and this herb completes our list on how to effectively manage high blood pressure the natural way with no synthetic add-ons.

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